Another pulsating weekend of action took place last Saturday as all three divisions in the SRU National League showcased some breathtaking Rugby despite the torrential rain. The Premiership saw league leaders Wanderers RFC 1st XV take on second-placed Bucks RFC 1st XV while Bedok Kings RFC 1st XV faced SCC 1st XV, at Turf City and Dempsey respectively. The Men’s Championship provided some mouthwatering rugby entertainment, while the Women’s League saw a top of the table clash between Bedok Kings Skyllas Wolves and Blacks Women’s RFC.
Defending champions Bucks RFC came into their Premiership match aiming to avenge their defeat at the hands of Wanderers earlier this season and also to potentially leapfrog their opponents to the top of the table. The Wanderers were never going to make it easy for them though, slotting an early penalty conversion and putting the Bucks under pressure from the get-go. Excellent play from the Wanderers forwards saw them heave over the try line, only to be held up by some resolute Bucks defence. Wanderers wouldn’t be denied though, as they were awarded a penalty try from the resulting scrum with the forwards piling on the pressure. Wanderers scored another try before the break, going into halftime with a 15-0 lead.
Bucks regrouped and came back strong in the second half, converting an early penalty and bringing the game back to the Wanderers. Some good interplay following an audacious crosskick resulted in Bucks scoring their first try. They soon added another just minutes later when the forwards rumbled over the tryline from a well-worked lineout, tying the score up at 15-15.
Wanderers responded in style though, stringing together some phases despite the wet conditions and putting the ball through the hands to their winger who powered through his opposite number for a powerful try in the corner. An impressive conversion meant Bucks had another mountain to climb if they were to salvage anything at all. An exchange of penalty kicks brought the score to 25-18 in favour of the Wanderers, and it looked to be out of reach for the Bucks until they pulled out a finish for the ages – scoring a try right at the death. A well-struck conversion brought the final score to 25-25. The draw meant that the Wanderers preserved their 1-point lead over the Bucks at the top of the table.Top of FormBottom of Form
In the other Premiership fixture, SCC looked to pick up their first win of the campaign, as they came up against the Bedok Kings. Both teams delivered a real spectacle of a match, treating onlooking fans with a try-fest as a whopping 10 tries were scored between both teams. SCC came out of the blocks with all guns blazing, storming to a 19-0 lead in the first half through three unanswered tries.
SCC refused to let up in the second half, with flanker Faris Bajandouh going over for a try merely 47 seconds after the restart, and with winger Mattias Chia scoring yet another 10 minutes later. Despite finding themselves 31-0 down, the Kings showed great tenacity and spirit to get onto the scoreboard, scoring three tries with fullback Ezekiel Soh grabbing a brace. SCC kept the engine running to score two more tries of their own before the final whistle, closing the game with a scoreline of 43-19. This bonus point victory puts them in third place on the table with 8 points, well within striking distance of league leaders Wanderers RFC who sit just 3 points ahead, albeit with a game in hand.
The Men’s Championship offered some top of the drawer action as well, with some exciting running rugby on display. The Wanderers Gents hang on to their place at the top of the table with a 37-25 win over Oldham Blue, while second-placed Bucks 2nd XV kept pace with them by beating Saints RFC 14-0. The Gaulois Roosters put in a quality shift with a 55-12 bonus point-win over Wanderers Rovers to bring them to 4th in the league, while Bedok Kings RFC 2nd XV did likewise, beating Oldham Gold 46-24 to stay level on points with Gaulois. Elsewhere, SCC Lions beat Blacks RFC 29-17 in a tight contest to lift themselves to the top half of the table.
In the Women’s division, a top of the league clash saw the Bedok Kings Skyllas Wolves edge out defending champions Blacks Women’s RFC with a score of 27-17. With this crucial victory, the Wolves extended their lead at the top of the table to 7. Bucks RFC Ladies grabbed their first win of the season in impressive fashion, as they ran out convincing 37-0 victors over the Bedok Kings Skyllas Rhinos in the other fixture.
We are down to the last few weekends of the season, with lots on offer as all teams look to battle it out for top honours in the SRU National League this season. Till the next round!
Photo Credit: Darrell Ho